Out on the Slopes

Out on the Slopes

This summer my primary objective will be to continue the implementation of the Unstable Slope Management Program (USMP) at Chiricahua National Monument. The USMP is a geotechnical asset-management-based program designed to reduce the risk and deterioration of park infrastructure due to geohazards such as rockslides and landslides. This allows for a shift from a reactionary to a proactive asset management approach. The project can be divided into two phases, with Phase 1 dealing with the evaluation and field test of the USMP on park slopes, and Phase 2 dealing with the development of a database for asset management needs.  

Unstable slopes can best be defined as slopes of natural or unnatural build that can no longer structurally maintain their current configuration. If and when these unstable slopes deteriorate, there can be extensive damage to infrastructure, creation of hazardous conditions, and ultimately a reduction in the operational budgets of parks due to unexpected repairs. My main duties will be to identify, categorize, and rate slopes along roads at Chiricahua National Monument and then update the existing USMP database. The USMP methodology incorporates both qualitative and quantitative slope characteristic measurements, which are utilized to generate the following ratings: Preliminary Ratings, Slope Hazard Rating, Risk Rating, and Total USMP Score. By having a database that qualitatively and quantitatively rates unstable slopes, agencies can have the appropriate information required to locate, asses, and prioritize unstable slope assets.

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